NFL Punishes Aaron Rodgers

News comes after he said he's an athlete, not an activist
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 9, 2021 7:06 PM CST
Updated Nov 10, 2021 6:48 AM CST

Update: Aaron Rodgers has been fined by the NFL for violating the league's COVID-19 protocols. Another Green Bay Packers player, receiver Allen Lazard, was also fined for the same reason, CNN reports. They were found to have attended a Halloween party despite not being vaccinated. They were each fined $14,650, while the team was fined $300,000. Our original story from Tuesday follows:

Aaron Rodgers was back on The Pat McAfee Show for his regular appearance Tuesday—and he said he was ready to move on from debating COVID vaccines. The Green Bay Packers quarterback—who claimed to be "immunized" against the virus when he was actually unvaccinated—said he knows he is a role model to a lot of people and acknowledged that his remarks could be considered misleading, TMZ reports. "I made some comments that people might have felt were misleading," he said. "And to anybody who felt misled by those comments, I take full responsibility."

Rodgers, who tested positive for the virus last week and missed Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs, said he is feeling "really good." He said he believes there is only a "small possibility" that he'll miss the Seattle Seahawks game over the weekend, though as an unvaccinated player, he will have to follow strict protocols, USA Today reports. "I made a decision that was in the best interest based on consulting with my doctors," Rodgers said. "And I understand that not everybody is going to understand that necessarily. But I respect everybody's opinion." He told McAfee that he's an "athlete, not an activist."

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Rodgers has been strongly criticized for his remarks on COVID vaccines, though he told McAfee that he's not been reading what has been written about him lately. "I'm not going to hate on anybody that has said anything about me," said. "It's a time to move forward for me and talk about football." Sports Illustrated notes that McAfee joked about Rodgers' reliance on information from podcast host Joe Rogan, who has been accused of pushing disinformation about unproven or discredited COVID remedies, including ivermectin. He asked Rodgers if he had consulted "Dr. Joe Rogan and which other doctors?" Rodgers didn't name any doctors, but said he had spoken to "around a dozen friends," including Rogan, who is not a doctor. (Rodgers' fiancee says critics are "grasping at straws.")

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